2016 Big Shot of the Year - Tribute Award - Warren Berggren, MD

Photo and bio from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Dr. Berggren and his wife, Gretchen (M.D., Class of 1958), worked together to provide medical assistance to underserved populations around the world.

From 1959-1964, they worked as medical missionaries in Congo where they served a population of 130,000 people along the Ubangi River.

From 1967-1972, they lived in Haiti and founded the Community Health Program of Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles. Using local health workers to immunize all women at every market place, newborn tetanus was eradicated. Resident health workers registered and followed each member of the community. Dr. Berggren adapted the international formula for oral rehydration using local Haitian products to prevent deaths from diarrhea.

From 1967-1998, Dr. Berggren was on the Harvard School of Public Health faculty. He also earned a doctorate from Harvard School of Public Health in 1967.

Among his other outreach activities, Dr. Berggren directed primary health care at Save the Children for 10 years. He consulted or worked with the Haitian and Tunisian Ministries of Health, the United States Agency for International Development, UNICEF, World Relief, and the Colorado Haiti Project.

Dr. Berggren has been recognized and honored for contributions to replicable models of community health by governments and universities including Tulane University, the University of Colorado, the University of Texas, and the University of Nebraska. In 2010, the Berggrens were inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national honor medical society by the Nebraska chapter.

The Berggrens received lifetime achievement awards from the American Public Health Association, a presidential citation from Bill Clinton, and an International Health Award from the Global Health Council, which was presented to them in person by Mother Teresa. 

Dr. Berggren passed away January 30, 2015.